Delegates from eight of the world’s biggest heavy machinery companies recently paid a visit to Hangzhou to present the city’s administration for industry and commerce plaques for its efforts in intellectual property protection.
The companies included Atlas Copco Group headquartered in Sweden, US-based Caterpillar Inc, Britain’s Perkins Holdings and the Japanese manufacturers Hitachi, Komatsu and Mitsubishi.
“The administration made remarkable achievements in protecting the IPR of overseas-funded enterprises and also created orderly and fair market conditions for us,” Yukie Nishikawa, IP representative of Komatsu, said at the presentation ceremony in the capital of Zhejiang province.
“It safeguarded the benefits of consumers as well as trademark owners and we are very optimistic about the city’s business prospects.”
Rising city infrastructure and property development have created great demand for excavating machines since 2000.
That boom is reflected in illegal trade in spare parts. On just one business street, 45 companies sell components for world-renowned brands, some of them counterfeit, said Zhang Jiancheng, head of the administration.
“Trademark protection is as important as nurturing brands in our work,” Zhang said.
“We organized three special campaigns last year and handled 14 trademark infringement cases imposing penalties of more than 210,000 yuan ($31,000),” he said.
“Efforts continue this year to combat the illegal activities.”
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During an examination carried out on Sept 28, officials seized 535 counterfeit parts including 107 labeled Mitsubishi, 290 represented as Komatsu and 70 fakes carrying the Caterpillar name.
“A sound long-term intellectual property protection system is crucial to attracting foreign investment,” Zhang explained.
“In addition to regular campaigns, the administration has also compiled a list of owners of overseas well-known trademarks.”
It has established cooperation with Yangtze River cities Hangzhou, Jiaxing, Huzhou, and Shaoxing to battle the illegal trade.
Campaigns have also been launched to better supervise the print and packaging industries and against copycats of renowned trademarks in clothing and small commodities markets, said the senior official.
By Dec 15, the city’s administrations for industry and commerce at various levels handled 1,135 cases of trademark infringement, seizing about 14 million yuan, 400,000 counterfeit pieces and 360,000 illegal labels carrying trademarks such as Lee Kum Kee, a food flavoring brand, and JNBY, a clothing company.
Among them, 323 cases were related to companies from nations including Germany, Britain, South Korea, Italy, Denmark and Luxembourg.